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Though unassuming and simple from the outside, 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar provides outstanding hospitality, more than 700 wines and one of the best beer lists in the city. The result is a relaxing yet engaging opportunity to sip, contemplate or just plain drink your vino. Though lacking a full menu, there's a nice array of cheese, cured meats and crackers to hold you over. Pricing is great, with bottles marked up just $9 over 33's very competitive "take home" prices (it is a wine shop, too), which makes 33 a great place to go big on a specialty bottle. The oft-rotating draft selection, along with the list of bottled brew, highlights great beers both American and imported, many of which are rarely available on tap locally.
Call it Arcelia’s version 3.0. The original Arcelia’s closed in 2010 after a twenty-year run, first in Soulard, later anchoring the northeast corner of Lafayette Park. The family of founder Arcelia Sanchez, who died in 2003, has reopened the restaurant, bringing back much of the original menu, in a new location in Soulard. The menu is brief and features crowd pleasers like enchiladas, chiles rellenos, pork in a chile-verde sauce and quesadillas. The tortilla chips, fried in-house and served piping hot, are a highlight, as is carne en su jugo: a soup of flank steak and pinto beans in a flavorful tomatillo-bacon broth.
Located at 1915 Park in the heart of the idyllic Lafayette Square neighborhood, Bailey’s Chocolate Bar serves up some of the city’s best desserts and cocktails, in addition to a small but stellar selection of savory offerings. Thanks to its dim lighting and the rich browns and reds that dominate the interior, Bailey’s Chocolate Bar is well-known as one of the city's most romantic spots. Selections range from classic desserts like crème brûlée and Bailey’s strawberry sundae to more contemporary creations like their vegan banana split made with strawberry sorbet, as well as a variety of house-made ice creams and truffles. Savory offerings include sandwiches, salads and pizzettas, and a sizeable selection of fine cheeses. The bar serves up a bevy of beers, wines, spirits, and specialty cocktails – your sweet tooth will thank you.
Element serves up hearty rustic American food in a beautifully restored historic brick building in Lafayette Square. The two-story, warmly rich space is filled with glass and wood and features an open kitchen in the lower level restaurant area so that every table feels like a chef’s table. Element is a casual fine dining restaurant that serves contemporary American cuisine in a luxurious space complete with an award-winning outdoor terrace. The menu changes often. There's a spectacular lounge located on the third floor, perfect for those who like cocktails with a view.
One of the most popular restaurants on the square (though technically, it's a few blocks away), Eleven Eleven Mississippi is the perfect spot for a dinner party or an intimate dinner date for two. The restaurant bills itself as a "Wine Country Bistro," and the wine list is up to the challenge along with a menu featuring variations on casual Northern Italian and California fare. Wild boar is a house specialty -- that's right, wild boar. The soft lighting and graceful décor helps create an intimate atmosphere to ensure things go well on that first date.
If you've never tried plantains, this small Nicaraguan restaurant is a great place to start. Fritanga offers three plantain preparations: thin, crisp tajadas; slightly thicker and less crisp tostones; and soft, sweet maduros. Tajadas, especially, might give French fries a run for their side-dish money. All three pair well with the restaurant's meat-intensive entrées. Charbroiled beef tenderloin (churrasco nica) comes with a flavorful chimicurri sauce and a devilishly hot pico de gallo, while charbroiled pork tenderloin accents dusky achiote seasoning with a bracingly tart note of citrus. Carne desmenuzada, a very thick stew of beef and vegetables has the richness of sauerbraten; a dash of pico de gallo makes the flavor explode.
Lona Luo and Pierce Powers got their start peddling silks and bags to Soulard Market-goers. When a food stall finally opened, they decided to take advantage of Luo’s culinary background and start selling handmade dumplings in the side. Word spread of their delicious offerings, and eventually the husband and wife team developed enough of a fan base for a larger venture -- a brick-and-mortar storefront for Lona’s Lil Eats in Fox Park. The pair describes their cooking as Asian comfort food, and elements of Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine are all represented at the fast-casual restaurant. Diners choose from a few protein options (beef, chicken, turkey, tofu, shrimp), decide how they want it served (platter or wrap) and select various sauces and accompaniments. The barbecued beef with smoked vinaigrette and jasmine rice, wrapped in giant rice paper is a must try, along with the chicken and lemongrass pesto tortilla. First-time diners are encouraged to order the comprehensive “Five Star Platter,” which represents a large chunk of the menu. All of the proteins are served with two “staples” (such as stir fried wild rice or rice noodles), two side dishes and all of the sauces. Of note is the “Lona-Q”, Luo’s version of a sweet and savory teriyaki. And don’t leave without trying those famous handmade dumplings. They are what put the restaurant in the map.
Located in Lafayette Square along Park Avenue just a few steps east of Lafayette Park, Park Avenue Coffee features a large selection of coffee and espresso drinks and St. Louis's very own favorite dessert, gooey butter cake. The coffee all starts with locally roasted Chauvin Coffee beans and comes in a variety of drink options, including flavored mochas and lattes, a "Cubano" with raw sugar, or on ice as a caramel macchiato and Thai coffee with sweetened condensed milk. Park Avenue also serves blended frappicanos, teas and fruit smoothies with real fruit and nonfat yogurt. They offer a few bagels and other baked goods, but the real eats at Park Avenue begin and end with gooey butter cake, with more than 70 different flavors available for order, all beginning with eggs, butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar, and followed by several different fine-tuned flavors. Among the top-selling flavors Park Avenue offers are red velvet, white-chocolate blueberry and key lime, plus the original recipe, plain, old traditional cake. Cakes can be purchased in squares or by the whole cake, with the option to make it heart-shaped, if so desired.
Finally, master mixologist Ted Kilgore gets a house of his own with Planter’s House. This Lafayette Square temple to mixology is a showroom for Kilgore and company’s (wife, Jamie, and business partner, Ted Charak) inspired cocktail artistry. Drinks run the gamut from the approachable “Planter’s House Punch” to the esoteric wormwood-laden “Unusual Suspect.” The joint is, first and foremost, a cocktail room, but it features an inspired food menu. The poutine is magnificent -- thick, red-wine pork gravy covers a platter of fried and smashed fingerling potatoes. Or try the duck burger, a mammoth mix of ground duck, pork and bacon is served open-face on a pumpernickel bun with Gouda and a fried duck egg. It’s quite possibly the perfect way to soak up all of that booze.
Ricardo's has been cooking up Italian fare since 1989, serving as an engine of renewal in Lafayette Square. Starters include calamari and the requisite T-ravs, with sandwich, wrap and panini options as well. Ricardo's also boasts an ample selection of pastas, such as tortellini Roberto, which is stuffed with pork and chicken and covered in a cream sauce with peas and ham. Other entrees include steak, chicken, seafood and veal or, for veggie lovers, the linguine Dolano with pine nuts, fresh basil and sun-dried tomato sautéed with olive oil and fresh garlic. The lunch specials offer terrific value, but come dinner you will want to take your time, enjoy a glass of wine from the Italian-heavy list and savor several courses of hearty, comforting classics.
Housed in an old Lafayette Square tavern that was home to an Anheuser-Busch tavern a century ago, Square One Brewery's dozen different varieties of house-crafted beer include the staples of every microbrewery -- a rich stout, a clean-tasting IPA and a tart weizen. The food is casual hearty pub fare that goes well with the full-bodied flavor of a pint: chili, beer-cheese soup, bratwurst, plus beer-battered this, that and the other. Besides the dozen microbrews on tap, the distillery side of the operation churns out its own whiskey, vodka, gin, an American tequila and three rums. A brewery and a distillery...in the same building? We are there.
Built into part of the renovated Western Wire Products factory in Lafayette Square, SqWires focuses on simple, spirited food. (Seafood, in particular, is a highlight.) The interior is modern-industrial with a cosmopolitan feel, thanks to exposed brick and lofty windows. The happy hour is pretty solid with above average drink offerings group-friendly food -- plates are easy to share, and each offers something for someone. The dips-and-spreads app features warm pita bread fanned among three very distinctively different but complementary dips. SqWires' modern flare fits in beautifully against the historic backdrop.
St. Louis Gast Haus celebrates old-world charm from the decor to the menu to the staff speaking to each other in German at times. Family photos sit proudly on the piano in the bar area. The beer selection is succinct, with options including Spaten and Bitburger, offered in either a pint, half liter or liter, for the serious drinker. The menu lists all items in German - with explanations - and its roster includes everything for an authentic German meal - wienerschnitzel, kohlrouladen (cabbage rolls) and six different options for potatoes - potato pancakes to french fries.
Upscale dining destination Vin de Set, operated by the same folks that run 1111 Mississippi and Moulin Events, sits atop the old Centennial Malt House on Chouteau. Open for lunch and dinner, guests at the rooftop restaurant can partake in French-inspired dishes. Lunch selections include a Monte Cristo sandwich and the quiche du jour. Dinner offers diners grilled quail, cheese plates and steak au poivre. Vin de Set's wine list is extensive, with an emphasis, natch, on French wines. Guests should dress to impress.
15 total results

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